Strategic Battlefield in Combating Counterfeiters: Turkish Riviera, West and South Coast of Türkiye

With a coastline of almost 9,000 kilometers and over 550 blue flag beaches, Türkiye  welcomes millions of domestic and foreign tourists during the summer season each year. The most popular area for summer vacations is known as the Turkish Riviera, comprising the cities of Antalya and Muğla in particular, and also some parts of Aydın and Izmir, encompassing the main districts of Alanya, Antalya, Kemer, Fethiye, Marmaris, Bodrum, Kuşadası and Çeşme from the south to the west coast of Türkiye.

Even though the total number of tourists decreased due to the pandemic back in 2020, a move from larger cities to small towns and especially to districts in the Turkish Riviera was observed following the pandemic.

Additionally, due to consequences of the massive earthquake disasters in Türkiye, the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war and migration from the Middle East, a large number of people have recently moved to districts in the Turkish Riviera. Furthermore, with diversification of tourism over recent years, these districts have become more and more popular, providing resorts for golf and football training camps, etc.

With the population increase, infringers took this as an opportunity and expanded their activities. Some of the infringers have moved their production sites and warehouses to these areas and most of them continue with sales of counterfeit products not only in the summer months, but throughout the whole year. The increase in the number of visitors coming with the purpose of counterfeit product shopping has also encouraged the infringers in this sense. Lately, it has been observed that there are many counterfeits of famous brands in almost all sectors from textile to electronics, sometimes even more than are available in the major metropolises.

Therefore, it is particularly important to understand the sectoral factors and to take action against the infringers at an early stage. For instance, in terms of textile products that will enter the market in the summer season, it is advisable for brand owners to take aim at the production sites and warehouses first without waiting for the summer season, to prevent distribution and sales of counterfeit products to the domestic market, as well as to other countries.  Similarly, in terms of winter shoes, the brand owners are advised to focus on production sites and warehouses during summer season. In terms of retail stores, on the other hand, it is advised to continue with the actions during the whole year in order to give a strong message of active combating in the domestic market and to decrease the visibility of counterfeit products.

While combating counterfeit in the west and south coasts of Türkiye, it should be noted that the legal practice in the districts of the Turkish Riviera can also vary from the regular practice in large cities. While some prosecutors find the invoices or other substantial evidence in the complaint showing production/sales of the counterfeit products sufficient to request for a search and seizure warrant from the judge, others may decide to obtain a police investigation report about the target subject to the complaint. Another significant point is that not all judges issue search and seizure warrants. In some cases, despite all evidence showing production/sales of the counterfeits, judges may simply reject the search and seizure requests and although an objection can be filed against the rejection decision, it can take several months for the higher court to examine the objection and render a decision, depending on its workload. Thus, the timing of complaint submissions is also very important, and each case should be evaluated separately based on the region, sector and business capacity of the infringers to create a strong strategy specific to the west and south coasts of Türkiye.

We have a special project aiming at the infringers on the west and south coasts of Türkiye, which has been carried out for many years. By taking into consideration the needs of a significant number of  clients, we regularly perform raids in the regions of the Turkish Riviera. In fact, based on our recent experience, we are of the opinion that the raids should continue to be performed throughout the year.

To summarize; due to the reasons explained above, it is advisable to perform raids in the area of Turkish Riviera not only in summer season but during the whole year, to actively combat counterfeiters and to decrease the visibility of counterfeit products.

First published by ManagingIP in Feb 21, 2024.

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